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Monthly Archives: January 2011

  • Victoria Beckham Pregnant With Number 4!

    We are excited to hear that the fashionable Victoria Beckham and handsome hubby David Beckham are expecting their fourth child this summer. Congratulations to the happy family! With three boys already in the brood, Brooklyn, Romeo, and Cruz, we are all excited to see if another brother or a baby sister will be added to the mix.

    Victoria has been a style icon for years, trend setting throughout the globe. Now a well-known fashion designer, she is always right on point with her fashion choices. From elegant red carpet events to fashionable dinners out, she her style is always impeccable.

    Although most well-known for her more glamorous looks, as a mother of four young children Victoria needs some on the go casual outfits. Whether at the park or going to the movies, some quick comfy, yet stylish outfit choices are a must. I love the idea of Victoria in a simple tee and skinny jeans, as it is approachable yet fashionable. The Shade Maternity Baby Tee, in a lightweight cotton blend, is the perfect maternity t-shirt. Cut with a bit of extra length, it fits throughout one’s pregnancy. The Straight Leg Elly B Jeans from Olian Maternity scream Victoria to me. Their trendy grey color and skinny leg are super stylish, while their below the belly fit and stretch fabric are incredibly comfortable. Paired with strappy sandals or cute ballet flats, Victoria will be chic and gorgeous all day long.

    I hope that before their fourth child arrives Victoria and David will be able to take a babymoon and slip away on a beach vacation for a little well deserved relaxation. For the beach, 1 in the Oven’s Beach Maternity/Nursing Dress is the perfect option for Victoria’s latter months of pregnancy. Made of soft gauze fabric, the maxi dress accentuates the body in all the right places with its empire waist and adds a hint of sexiness with its button down bust. This dress will truly make Victoria look like a beach goddess and keep her visible as the fashion icon that she is. Congratulations again to the lovely family!

  • Natalie Portman Pregnant!

    Congratulations to the gorgeous Natalie Portman and her fiancé Benjamin Millepied, a world renowned dancer and choreographer, on their pregnancy! A style icon in her on right, Natalie has always had a beautifully effortless look about her, choosing clothing that represents her free spirit while staying perfectly stylish. This fabulous fashion sense is sure to continue throughout her pregnancy and we cannot wait to see what she will wear!

    With awards season just getting started and so many movies out, Natalie is sure to have lots of opportunities to wow us with her gorgeous maternity style. So far we have seen her looking beautiful at the People’s Choice Awards this past week in a pretty blue knee-length dress. Being in the public eye and only in the beginning stages of her pregnancy, she chose a looser dress with added ruffles to slightly camouflage her baby bump. The soft scoop neck and gently flowing fabric paired with the solid black line detailing adds a great contrast. At this weekend’s showing of Black Swan, Natalie once again wowed us in a stunning knee-length, black and tan patterned blocked dress. The long sleeves balancing out the shortness of the dress is the perfect amount of skin and the gold jeweled accents around the neck and wrists is eye-catching.

    From the premier of her upcoming movie No Strings Attached to the plethora of award shows which are just getting started, Natalie will be in need of many more maternity dresses. As her baby bump continues to grow, we would love to see her accent it in some beautiful empire waist dresses. For the one of her movie premiers the Embellished Dress in navy would be a perfect choice. With an elastic empire waist and soft stretch fabric, she will be comfortable all night long. The gorgeous jeweled neckline on this dress truly makes a statement and is sure to look stunning in front of all the cameras. Classy yet unique, its deep navy color would look beautiful with Natalie’s coloring. For a big red carpet event, Maternal America’s Gold Band Maxi Dress is a gorgeous option. This Grecian inspired dress, with gold banding around the bust and empire waist, is pure elegance. Paired with black or gold heels and a great bracelet, Natalie would surely look incredible. Congratulations again to the happy couple!

  • Sleeping for under seven hours a night greatly raises the risk of catching a cold, US research has suggested.

    A team from Carnegie Mellon University found the risk was trebled compared with those who slept for eight hours or more a night.

    It is thought that a lack of sleep impairs the immune system and the body's ability to fight off the viruses that cause colds and flu.

    The study appears in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

    Previous research has suggested that people who sleep seven to eight hours a night have the lowest rates of heart disease.

    However, there has been little direct evidence that getting a good night's sleep can help ward off a cold.

    The researchers studied 153 healthy men and women with an average age of 37 between 2000 and 2004.

    Each was interviewed about their sleeping habits over a two-week period.

    They were then quarantined and given nasal drops containing rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.

    For the following five days the volunteers reported any signs and symptoms of illness, and had mucus samples collected from their nasal passages.

    And 28 days after exposure to the virus, blood samples were taken from each volunteer so tests could be carried out to see if they had developed antibodies to fight infection.

    Sleep quality

    The less an individual slept, the more likely they were to develop a cold.

    The quality of sleep also appeared to be important. Volunteers who spent less than 92% of their time in bed asleep were five-and-a-half times more likely to become ill than those who were asleep for at least 98% of their time in bed.

    The researchers believe that lack of good quality sleep disturbs regulation of key chemicals produced by the immune system to fight infection.

    Professor Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre at the University of Cardiff, said sleep and the immune system were closely linked.

    He said: "The immune system may control the sleep-wake pattern and lack of sleep or sleep disturbance may depress the immune response to infection.

    "I do believe there is enough information on this to indicate that lack of sleep or sleep disturbance will reduce our resistance to infections such as colds and flu."

    Dr Adrian Williams, director of the Sleep Disorders Centre, at St Thomas' Hospital, London, said the study echoed previous work in animals suggesting sleep had an effect on immunity.

    Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, agreed that previous research had shown that poor sleep impacts on immunity, but he said there was little data on its effect on specific infections, such as colds and flu.

  • Women's tears can have a negative effect on men's sexual desire, a new study suggests.

    Scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel found that women's tears contain a "chemical signal", which reduces arousal in men.

    Prof Noam Sobel told BBC World Service radio that the signal reduced levels of testosterone and brain activity associated with sexual arousal.

    His team now plan to study the effects of men's tears on women and men.

    Testosterone

    The researchers collected tears from female volunteers who cried while watching sad films.

    Male volunteers then had the tears or a salt solution, without knowing which, placed under their noses on a pad, while they made judgements about images of women's faces. The experiment was then repeated, with those that had first been given the tears given the salt solution and vice versa.

    The researchers found that the men who sniffed the tears judged the women's faces less sexually appealing than they did when they sniffed the salt solution.

    The levels of testosterone - a hormone related to sexual arousal - in the men's saliva fell by 13% on average after they sniffed the tears, but stayed the same after sniffing the salt solution.

    Their physiological state, as measured by skin temperature, heart rate and respiration, also fell after exposure to the tears.

    MRI brain scans showed less activity in areas associated with sexual arousal after smelling the tears.

    The researchers said the male volunteers could not distinguish the smell of the tears from that of the salt solution and that tears were odourless anyway.

    "This study reinforces the idea that human chemical signals - even ones we're not conscious of - affect the behaviour of others," Prof Sobel said in comments published in the Science Express online journal.

    He added that the results raised many questions, such as what the chemical giving out the signal was.

  • Babies just over a year old are able to understand words just like adults, find researchers.

    Babies just over a year old are able to understand words just like adults, find researchers.

    In a new study, specialized MRI and MEG imaging tests that look at the brain were used to see how babies respond to spoken words. Scientists from University of California, San Diego found they process words and not just sounds, much like adults, and in the same area of the brain as grown-ups.

    Scientists used non-invasive MEG and MRI tests to view brain activity in 12 to 18 months old. MEG (magnetoencephalography) is a type of test that measures weak magnetic fields generated by electrical activity in the neurons of the brain. .

    Co-leader of the study, Katherine E. Travis, of the Department of Neurosciences and the Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, all at UC San Diego explains, “Babies are using the same brain mechanisms as adults to access the meaning of words from what is thought to be a mental 'database' of meanings, a database which is continually being updated right into adulthood.” .

    There have been several theories about how babies process language, one being that the brain evolves from infancy to adulthood, but begins with a primitive form of learning. Adults with frontotemporal lesions in the brain have difficulty processing language leading to speculation about language processing, but for infants, that part of the brain doesn’t seem critical. .

    One theory is that the difference between adults and babies is that a different area of the brain engages in infancy for language development - specifically, the right hemisphere and inferior frontal regions that become less dominant as babies mature, but the theory lacks evidence. .

    One way to observe how language is processed with the imaging techniques used by the scientists in the current study, which allowed the researchers to observe areas of the brain activated when a baby hears words. The scientists found out that babies understand the meaning of words, before they speak. .

    The researchers exposed the babies to sounds, pictures and words in the study. Some of the words were paired with acoustic sounds with no associative meaning. In the second part of the study, words were spoken and either matched or mismatched to pictures to see if babies really do understand the meaning of words. .

    Brain activity on the scans showed that babies knew the difference between words that did not match the pictures. The same brain response occurred in the babies as in adults, in the same left frontotemporal areas. The researchers confirmed the response was the same in adults shown pictures that did not match words. .

    When the scientists showed pictures of a ball for instance, and spoke the word, the same area of the brain used by adults was activated, showing babies do understand language and that they can process words. .

    Eric Halgren, PhD, professor of radiology in the School of Medicine says, “Our study shows that the neural machinery used by adults to understand words is already functional when words are first being learned. This basic process seems to embody the process whereby words are understood, as well as the context for learning new words.”

    The findings show babies do understand words and process language just like adults. The scientists say their research results mean infants could be screened for language disabilities and autism at an early age. .

  • Pregnant Women Lie About Smoking

    This article by By NICHOLAS BAKALAR of the NY Times

    When pregnant women are asked if they smoke, almost a quarter of the smokers deny they have the habit. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 1999 to 2006, researchers writing online in The American Journal of Epidemiology report that 13 percent of 994 pregnant women, and almost 30 percent of 3,203 nonpregnant women of reproductive age, were active smokers. (Rates among these women, 20 to 44 years old, are higher than rates for the general population of women.)

    Among pregnant smokers, 23 percent reported that they did not smoke, despite high blood levels of cotinine, a biological indicator of tobacco exposure, that showed they did. More than 9 percent of the nonpregnant smokers also lied about it.

    The authors acknowledge that cotinine levels can be increased by secondhand smoke, and that the exact blood level of cotinine that indicates smoking in pregnant women is not known. But pregnant women metabolize cotinine faster than nonpregnant women, so their smoking rate may actually have been underestimated.

    The lead author, Patricia M. Dietz, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the deceit probably stemmed from embarrassment. “Smoking has been stigmatized,” she said. “They feel reluctant to be chastised.” But concealing the addiction is not the answer, she said — quitting is. And, she added, “it’s never too late to quit.”

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